I think it took people a while to realise I’d ‘gone’. In fact I don’t think some people even realised I had. And to this day, I think there will be people out there who reading this will think “Oh…did she go somewhere??!!”. And that’s the joy, the freedom, the wonderfulness of it.
I’m sure like many entrepreneurs, a large proportion of my clients find and connect with me through social media and as a result the ‘need’ to post on a regular basis (for me, once a day) comes with the territory. And sometimes this can feel incredibly all-consuming and add pressure to a mind which is already overwhelmed at times.
When I left I had every intention of keeping up with my day to day posts, but due to my international flight times, one day passed. Then the next. Then the next. Then the next. And before I knew it, a whole month had gone by.
Did I feel ‘guilty’? For the first few days, yeah. And then I came to peace with it and made a decision…I’m not going to post until I feel ready to. And as easy as that, the pressure was lifted.
What helped massively was that for the country and culture I was living in, social media is simply irrelevant. When they were worrying about whether they would be able to feed their children (42% of under 5’s are chronically malnourished) or whether they had clean water to drink (1 in 3 still don’t), me telling the world my every day going’s on, seemed so irrelevant. Helped by a distinct lack of electric, internet or even time, I found myself wanting to put every spare second into photographing, helping out where I could or simply interacting with people for whom, crazily, my presence, my time, a wave or simply a smile, seemed to mean so much.
Did I miss it? No. (Sorry for the brutal honesty!). Because I knew, at the end of the month, it would still be there, but this experience, this chance to ‘do my bit’, wouldn’t.
So, for those of you who noticed I’d gone, thank you, that’s lovely to know. And for those of you who didn’t notice, thank you too. You’ve given me a fresh outlook on this social media malarkey and made me realise that whilst I will still have a very active presence, if I don’t post for one day, my business won’t come crashing down around my ears (I booked 3 weddings in the month I was away, with no internet!).
So….where DID I go?! And what DID I do?! Find out about my time as a travel photographer in Malawi.